A Call For Manufacturing Control Of Mislabeled Finished Cannabis Products

Our consumers deserve 100% transparency, and the reputation of the industry is at stake if more findings like this are made.  We've got to increase quality assurance and control in processing to ensure longevity and survival.  

A call has been made for increased manufacturing control in finished cannabis products is made following a finding that 70% of the CBD marijuana extracts found online may be
mislabeled.

According to some new research published by a Penn Medicine researcher in November of
2017, nearly 70 percent of all cannabidiol products sold online are either over or under labeled, causing potentially serious harm to its consumers. by people purchasing CBD extracts off the internet may be getting less than what they bargained for.

In a study comprising of 84 cannabis CBD products which were sold by online companies, a blind testing revealed that only 31% of them had the quantity of cannabis CBD recorded on their product label (a specification of +/- 10% was used). It was also discovered that some products even contained other marijuana components not among the ones listed on the product label – including THC.

From the tested 84, about 26 (i.e. 31%) were labeled accurately, 36 (42%) contained more cannabis CBD than prescribed on the label (under-labeled), while 22 (26%) contained less (i.e. over-labeled). The highest error rate came from vaporization liquid, with just 3 of the 24 products (12.5%) having accurate labels and 18 (75%) having more than the quantity of cannabis CBD listed on its label. Oils were actually the most accurate; of the 40 tested
products, 18 (45%) were labeled accurately while about 12 ((30%) contained less cannabis CBD than what was put on the label.

Several issues arise from a cannabis industry that is not producing quality products
for consumer use. As professionals in the field, it is our responsibility to ensure
consumers are safe and that the cannabis industry may continue to thrive and only
grow legislatively.

Consumers expect and deserve to bring home the product they purchased. The only way to
ensure this is to exhibit increased quality assurance, GMP standards, quality control,
compliance, and regulatory oversight over cannabis processors.

To compete on the same level as FDA regulated dietary supplement, food, and
pharma companies, cannabis processors everywhere must ensure the following GMPs
are met:

  • Facilities are food safe and are environmentally controlled,
  • All employees are trained on proper GMPs and procedures are recorded,
  • Vendors are audited and materials inspected before use,
  • Only validated and calibrated equipment and instruments are used,
  • Thorough and full product testing is completed through the process and before the release of every batch,
  • Several other key elements which help to guide the production of a repeatable, pure, quality product.

This is the only way to ensure consumers get the right, unadulterated dose they pay for. GMP is not a rule meant to get in the way of throughput and financial success. In fact, the GMP standard has been developed over a long time by many industries and is meant to help producers find a streamlined system to guide production. By use of GMP, a company is able to lower the chance of a recall, bad rep, or even persecution.  

If the industry is going to push that cannabis to be accepted as a safe and efficacious
an alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals, there needs to be a careful preparation of cannabis products as part of the industry preservation. This will take manufacturing products which meet the same quality standards as those we hope to create an alternative for.

Compliance in the cannabis industry is not out of reach. However, it is much easier to start
earlier in the process. Once a company is set in non-compliant ways, it can be more
difficult to break those habits. It’s absolutely vital that in a blossoming cannabis world,
people take the extra step to ensure consumer, company, and industry safety.

References
https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2017/november/penn- study-
shows-nearly- 70-percent- of-cannabidiol- extracts-sold- online-are- mislabeled